MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Residents in the Hispanic community are often reluctant to reach out to police. That's according to the Midland Police Department.
In efforts to change that, Midland Police held "Pan Dulce con la Policía" to strengthen that line of communication.
This is the third time MPD hosted "Pan Dulce con la Policía" at Martinez Bakery in Midland. They're hoping as these events continue, more residents will come out and open up to police about what's on their mind.
"We're founded on the Hispanic community, so we want to make sure that their voices are heard. If they have any concerns or any problems, or if they want to commend police officers on their work, we want to give them the opportunity to do so," said Luis Martinez of Martinez Bakery.
"There are people in Midland that don't speak English. They only speak Spanish, so we want to reach out to them too," said Midland Chief of Police, Price Robinson.
It's not very often we get to sit down with police in a calm environment. "Coffee with a Cop" and "Pan Dulce con la Policía" provide just that.
Anyone can come, and sit down and chat with our boys in blue.
"Police officers are people, too. They live here in Midland, their kids go to school, they shop at the same places. When they take off their uniform, they're just regular people. We want the residents of Midland to see that too," said Robinson.
Our sister radio station La Ley announced the event all week. Many called in, asking if police would check citizenship papers, or personal information. Police say that's not the case.
"They come in and they're like, 'What are the police doing here?' Once they get to talking, they kind of relax and they say, 'OK, they're not here to check me for warrants or anything. There's no ulterior motive. It's all good,' and that's what we want," said Robinson.
Residents who stopped by applaud the event.
"It cuts down, hopefully, on crime. It cuts down on misinformation getting around, so I think this is a great opportunity for both sides," said attendee Michele Mayberry.
"I think it's very friendly, very approachable for the community especially for the kids. That way they can be exposed to what the officers do and how they can help us," said Midland resident, Claudia Holguin.
Martinez Bakery hosts the Mexican Consulate, too. They're thinking of combining the two events in the future.